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No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,518 Ratings  ·  384 Reviews
Getting shot in the chest as a rookie ATF agent, bartering for machine guns, throttling down the highway at 100 miles per hour, and responding to a full-scale, bloody riot between the Hells Angels and their rivals, the Mongols—these are just a few of the high-adrenaline experiences Jay Dobyns recounts in this action-packed, hard to imagine, but true story of how he infiltr ...more
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Published April 9th 2009 by Tantor Media (first published 2009)
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Petar X
The infiltration of the Hells Angels by undercover cop and author Jay Dobyns is as interesting from the point of view of the very real deterioration of the character Jay and metamorphosis into his alterego 'Bird' as it is from the hows and wheres of how law enforcement can run such an operation.

The book's writing is unusual in that where Jay is an involved family man and serious cop, the writing reads as measured and logical. But as his real life crumbles and he feels most alive as an (otc) dru
Jun 14, 2015 Deadlift rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No Angel was mostly a burden to read. I am proud I did not give Dobyns any money for this publication (rented it from the local library). No Angel brings you into the bizarre world of a self-delusion, self-aggrandizing Federal Agent who takes bizarre pleasure in deceiving others in the name of convoluted moral Crusading which of course is done entirely on your dime. This book takes you on a journey of a man who honors the butcherers at Waco as he fear mongers the general public to what amounts t ...more
Feb 22, 2009 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Raw, Real and Riveting Memoir
Captivating from the first page, No Angel thrusts the reader into the inner world of the outlaw motorcycle gang, the Hells Angels. This is the story of an obsessed man, who with the all-or-nothing mentality in his makeup becomes the first undercover law enforcement agent to penetrate this notorious group.

The story is conveyed with brutal honesty. Jay Dobyns, using the alias "Bird" relies not only on his memories of the two year ATF case known as "Black Biscuit," b
Jan 24, 2011 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Jay Dobyns is an undercover ATF agent in Arizona. This is the story of his work to infiltrate the infamous motorcycle gang, the so called "HA, the One Percenter's, the Filthy Few, the 81's, the AFFA's, the MC's, the OMG's, yadda, yadda. Ton of acronyms throughout here but you get a glossary if needed. Book was written along with a first time author, Nils Shelton. I mention this because it shows in the so-so writing and narration.
The Angels as described here are actually just a washed up, living
Mar 16, 2009 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love his honesty. I have to wonder if he was a catylyst in events that may not have happened without his influence. Somtimes I think that LEO are as Bad as the OMG they chase. I have known and associated with bikers both Outlaw and Weekend riders for the better part of my Adult life and I must say that the 1% moniker is overused and in my opinion a bit high. It seems more like one percent of that one percent actually are criminals. And, in every ride and rally I have ever gone on the most Arro ...more
Nov 16, 2013 Eric rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dan  Logue
Feb 25, 2011 Dan Logue rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is terrible. Usually, if I don't like a book I will give it about 100 pages, grab another, and not bother writing a review for goodreads. I gave this book close to 200 pages, have found another, but will pause briefly to offer some constructive criticisms. It provides almost no social commentary on the causes of outlaw motorcycle gangs in addition to no overarching conclusions about human nature. Not that you would give any value to any conclusions this author (an undercover cop) drew ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Sherri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have known and liked a number of cops over the course of my life. I have known and liked a number of Hell's Angels over the course of my life. I tend to judge people based on themselves, not their affiliations/occupations. If I were likely to judge individuals by the group they hung out with, this book would make both sides look pathetic. That being said:

Yes, undercover work is dangerous and nerve-wracking. You can SAY they get paid to drink beer and ride bikes, and that sounds pretty cushy. T
Rebecca McNutt
No Angel is a harrowing and shocking account of undercover police work, a ruthless biker gang and the dangerous things that go on when no one is looking.
Mar 23, 2013 Pamela rated it really liked it
I had some interest in the motorcycle riders, as I used to ride a scooter, and was in two clubs. But I was young and we were innocents, comparatively. While they have strict rules such as the order of riders on a bike ride, or run, we were mostly unencumbered by such rules. They want to be free but are restrictive in their actions, everything must be approved by the higher ups in the organization. Their business was mainly illegal, while most of us still lived at home with our parents, although ...more
Jun 18, 2012 Parker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book with a biased opinion, I have always been fascinated by the world of biker gangs. Jay infiltrates the Hells Angels and tries to shut them down. He failed miserably. The whole narrative come off as narcissistic, he tells his story begging the reader to believe he's a badass. He broke more laws than the 81's and in the end didn't get any big convictions. He lost his job over it and if he was half as successful as he tried to convince us he was he would prob be dead by n ...more
Nov 30, 2012 Roy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: done
What a story. I live in AZ. I've seen a lot of this and been at these places. I've ridden for 30 years.
The book moves at a fast pace. The overwhelming message is you cannot associate with bad company without being corrupted yourself. No matter what the motive or intention is. It drives that point home with a stake!
It's a bummer in one respect, considering the timeline and the dates, and where we are now, his work seems to have accomplished absolutely nothing. That is sad. From a Christian with
Jun 16, 2016 Danm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Great book. In the beginning, it doesn't feel like you will become attached, but at least for me, I fell deeper into the rabbit hole with Jay (or maybe I should say Bird) as the story moved forward. It's amazing how he was able to pull off this double life, and you get an excellent glimpse of the Hells Angel lifestyle. I also liked the conclusion a lot for one key reason, but I can't post that here because I don't want to spoil anything. All I can say is, if you like real-life adventure stories, ...more
Nov 15, 2009 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really an interesting look into the outlaw biker culture. As a "biker" I think we tend to romanticize that world sometimes, but it's clearly no place for normal people to live. I don't understand why people would want to spend their lives in a sleazy environment of drugs, violence, and uncertainty about who your real friends are.

A couple of things I found interesting.

One was the humanity often found in men who are not wired to function in normal society, violent impulsive men with
Patrick O'Neil
I've no big love towards cops, especially undercover cops that befriend their suspects and then use that friendship to nail them. I think it a sleazy way to arrest someone. I find it just another abuse the current criminal justice system employs because they suck at their jobs and have to pretty much entrap whomever it is they consider dangerous. However, on the other hand I am in no way advocating that criminal enterprises proliferate and the police should do shit all to stop them. I just think ...more
Jill Sorenson
I read this for research and yikes. All of the other MC nonfiction books I picked up were autobiographies from club members. I found them racist and unappealing. In this one, the club members are also racists, murderers, drug addicts and woman beaters. It's not a pretty picture, and even the undercover cop is no gem. He's addicted to the thrill (along with otc substances) and seems to prefer this lifestyle to his loving family. His off-duty moments at home were sweet and I wanted to know more ab ...more
Jun 25, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-books
This is a fascinating insider's look at a bizarre and dangerous American subculture. However, I had a difficult time keeping track of all the players, of which there are literally dozens, and their myriad list of real names and nicknames. The author, an undercover special agent, also includes hundreds of tiny details that slow the narrative down. I mean, do I really need to know exactly what he ordered every time he ate at the Waffle House (which was every few pages)? These may have been items h ...more
Jan 24, 2010 Weylin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
If it wasn’t for responsibilities like taking care of a baby, chores, eating, etc., I would have read this book straight though without stopping. As a disclaimer, I share a very similar background with the author and I am sure that created a bias. But, I mostly think it is because this book conveyed a great true story and did it with great narrative story telling.
That being said, the author does come across as being pretty self centered, there are a few editing errors that even my lowly self
Oct 24, 2015 Jimmy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of an undercover ATF federal agent who worked to infiltrate the Hells Angels Motorbike gang in Arizona. It is a spellbinding account of Jay Dobyns’ work and how it affected him as a result of this undercover operation. The background story that the book provides of Dobyns life is just as interesting as Operation Black Biscuit (the operation against the Hells Angels). Dobyns was a college football star turned federal agent. On his first day with the ATF he was shot in the chest while pu ...more
Michael Sephes
No Angel is a semi autobiography on the life of Jay Dobyns as a undercover cop. Jay Dobyns with his team of undercover cops help arrest some of the key figure of the Hell Angels. When Jay Dobyns was doing this undercover job sometimes he started to lose his self. His team is filled with undercover cops and informants. With his team of he was the leader behind close but when they was out in public the informant was leader because he was well know in the ranks of the Hell Angels. Which was the bes ...more
Bob Clarkson
May 20, 2015 Bob Clarkson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came to this book after the situation at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas.

My Dad and youngest son worked, respectively, as a Los Angeles police officer (disability retired) and a Kansas City, MO police officer. I was a federal officer (disability retired).

Whatever you take from reading this book, know that those who try to protect and serve you are put into situations where most people would loose control of their sphictor muscles.

Plainly put, Jay Dobyns is an American hero. a real her
Петър Стойков
"Креативно" наименованите "Ангели на Ада" са най-голямата и опасна мотоциклетна банда в света - занимават се с търговия с наркотици и оръжие главно, както и с напиване и пребиване на де когото сварят. И с убиване, даже доста.

Бивш детектив разказва за работата си под прикритие бандата, при която бива приет за член и се надява разследването му да даде материал няколко от ръководителите да бъдат осъдени по RICO (закон в САЩ за борба с организираната престъпност). Всъщност нищо такова не става и еди
Oct 07, 2014 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
rad bruh
Sep 04, 2014 Tamara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporain
Je suis tombée un peu par hasard sur ce livre, j’avais déjà vu des reportages sur les Hells Angels, mais je me suis dit que ça serait intéressant de rentrer à l’intérieur de leur organisation, surtout vue d’un flic.
Jay Dobyns a inflitré 2 ans les Hells Angels, 2 années pendant lesquelles il est devenu Bird. Bird est d’abord devenu membre des Solo Angeles avec d’autres agents infiltrés et indic, pour enfin devenir hangaround et prospect chez les Hells Angels. On en apprend beaucoup sur l’organisa
Christi Snow
Jan 26, 2014 Christi Snow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Review:
I'm not a big non-fiction reader just because I tend to get bored with it and don't finish the books, no matter how well they are written. This was not that type of book. I read this book for research since the next book I plan to write delves into the undercover motorcycle club world. But I found myself completely riveted by "Bird's" account of this undercover operation, Black Biscuit, which consumed two years of his life and had a hard time putting this book down.

This book is an acc
Aug 25, 2013 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 11, 2015 Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book delivers on its promise - a rare look inside an alluring world driven by hierarchy, brotherhood, and rebellion. The perfect agent for undercover work, Dobyns grasps a keen understanding of human nature which enables him to hold his own among some of the grittiest and most dangerous people in the country. His is a harrowing tale of survival in two separate worlds that meet and clash within him. The disappointing ending unveils the necessity in writing the book; No Angel gives Dobyns a p ...more
Jan 22, 2016 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've now read two MC Under Cover (UC) books, both outstanding and well written. Although, if I had to choose only one book of this type to read, I would choose, "Under and Alone".

No Angel is obviously about the Hells Angels. Under and Alone, is about the Mongols - deadly rival gangs.

Both books reference an encounter with each other in Laughlin, NV. What is interesting, is how each UC agent perceived the encounter. In "No Angel", Jay Dobyns believed that the Angels won. In "Under and Alone", Wi
Casey Keen
Aug 05, 2015 Casey Keen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of biker gangs and undercover operations, so when I saw this book, I had to read it. Jay Dobbin’s infiltration into the Hell’s Angels was gritty, suspenseful and unimaginable. “Watching” Jay’s deterioration was one of the most interesting topics. Unfortunately, this adaptation tends to be a raw reality as an undercover agent. His character descriptions are written well, and for the most part, I enjoyed his work. I only had a few beefs with the book … (1) the Hell’s Angels didn’t ...more
Feb 15, 2016 Mariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and engaging. However, not a huge fan of Jay. He obviously thinks way too highly of himself and it gets irritating. I was definitely most drawn to this book because of just finishing the Sons of Anarchy series.
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Jay Dobyns is a highly decorated federal undercover agent, New York Times best selling author and celebrated public speaker. His unique presentations blend genuine life and death experiences, high-octane street smarts, humility, passion and humor. Jay delivers memorable speaking engagements that will captivate, motivate and inspire any audience.
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